Saturday, August 2, 2014

Running- Return to Square One

On Monday night I thought I had a great run.  What started out as a normal run turned into a "push the pace" four miler, complete with wanting to puke, pushing through it, and joy when I looked at my watch.  32:35- an 8:09 pace! This is the fastest I've run in a long time, especially considering that I didn't run for almost 4 months.  I was proud of my time and my ability to embrace the suck. 

Unfortunately, the past then came to haunt (or maybe taunt) me.  I ran a marathon a few years ago at an 8:05 pace.  So that is four seconds per mile faster than a pace that was hard as hell to maintain for four miles.  I know I'm coming back from an injury and don't have nearly the miles I had in me that I did when I ran that marathon, but man, that comparison was crushing.  Oh well, it was still a great run, and I could get back to that, right?

Today's run made me feel the furthest I could be from that 8:05 marathon pace.  The plan was a long run, shooting for about 10 miles, but not dead set on it.  I took yesterday off to have fresh legs.  Apparently my legs didn't get that message though.  I felt flat.  Every step from the very first one seemed like a struggle.  Initially I did have some right hamstring pain, but I stretched after running a couple blocks and that subsided (keep this in mind in the future...).  My legs felt like lead, and for no reason.  I know I'm out of shape, but I haven't done anything crazy this week.  I got a decent amount of sleep the past couple of nights.  The weather was mild.  My calves were tight but no real pain.  I kept looking for something to blame my misery on but no easy answer.  All I can think is I didn't fuel enough.  I had a banana when I woke up (about 1.5 hrs before the run) and a gu right before.  I took a gu on the run at 3.5 miles.

I ended up with 8 miles at a 9:04 pace.  Slower than 9 minute miles.  That was humbling.  The bright side- I ran 8 miles.  My hip felt good.  Swinging my arms no longer kills my shoulder.  I have 13 weeks until the half marathon.  Plenty of good to build on.  But then I remember that my 10 mile PR is 1:11:xx.  Today's run was 1:12:xx.  So a few years ago it took me less time to run 10 miles than it took me to run 8 today. 

I'm not really sure what is a feasible goal for the half marathon.  I really want to give it my all (a theme of this year) and see what shape I can get back into.  However, based on these comparisons this week, it seems like an overall PR is probably unlikely.  At this point, I'd be thrilled with a sub 1:45 half marathon, which breaks down to an 8 min/mile pace.  I've got my work cut out for me to do that.  I also have a goal of racing at 120 lbs, which is close to a pound a week of weight loss. 

They say the first step to achieving a goal is to put it out there, so there you have it.  13 weeks.  Dear body, please hold up. 

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